Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Living Water's Discipleship Process

Last year, Living Water undertook a wrenching process called "Simple Church" - a deceptively innocuous title to a book that stripped how we did "church" down to the bones and forced us to analyze how we work to create disciples.

Isn't that really what the church is supposed to do? In the process of creating "mission statements" and "purpose statements" and wondering "what is the job of the church?", doesn't it all come down to this question: How are we fulfilling the Great Commission - and what does that look like at this church?

Matthew 28:18-20
Then Jesus came to them and said, "All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age."
Today's New International Version (TNIV)
© Copyright 2001, 2005 by International Bible Society

A "coalition of the willing" met regularly, weekly, and painstakingly stripped the way we "do church" down and crafted a process that WORKS to create reproducing disciples of Jesus Christ.

With the help of the book, we even came up with an easily sketched model to demonstrate it - you can draw it on the back of a napkin or business card - to anyone who has questions.

Well? Are you curious? Dying to know the process Living Water uses to create disciples of Jesus Christ?

1) We help people CONNECT to God - in our current structure, this is best accomplished in our Sunday services. Connecting to God occurs anytime we gather to worship.

2) We strive to GROW reproducing disciples - we do this in Watering Holes (small groups) where people meet together to study and share life together. People who are participating in groups are growing and will eventually duplicate themself in someone else's life!

3) We live to SERVE others both inside the church body and out in the community. Service creates a level of discipleship that puts others first - check out Philippians 2 for more information on why we do this.

4) We need to GO - not just tell others about Jesus, but invest ourselves in their lives! By doing this, we are truly reproducing ourselves and making disciples of all nations.

This simple process of creating disciples (while it wasn't so simple to identify and create) enables us to focus on the real stuff of church - what Jesus made the church for in the first place. Church has become (for many people) a building with programs and activities. For Living Water, we want to focus on people - making reproducing disciples of Jesus Christ.

Look at the previous post (created by Andrew Potter at ShoutOut, LLC) to keep us focused on the discipleship goal.

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